The announcement is a clear sign that Facebook is still going after Snapchat, looking to offer users a Snapchat-like experience inside its own app. Facebook's Messenger, which on December 12 announced a brand-new AR-focused feature: World Effects.
The new AR features makes Facebook Messenger far more playful as users will be able to make use of these objects in AR and use them to communicate with others.
Facebook just one-upped Snapchat by introducing World Effects - augmented reality 3D world objects on its own.
Unlike placing a regular sticker or emoji on your pictures, World Lenses uses 3D objects.
In order to add a "World Effect", a user would need to open the Messenger Camera from inside the conversation thread and then scroll to choose from the camera effects. "Facebook says that now, they support only a heart, arrow, and robot, while there are bubbles and words that read "love", 'bae", "heart", and "miss you". "For example, add a 3D heart floating over someone's head and then try panning your phone's camera from side to side", said Facebook in a post on its website.
Facebook's Messenger platform is visually rich with features like photos, videos, emojis, stickers, and GIFs make and recently the company has also included the ability to send high-res 4K images as well. The set of effects at the moment is quite small, only including a heart, an arrow, a robot, a unicorn, and some word bubbles.
The AR Studio will become available to developers today, with World Effects creation tools coming within a week.
Facebook has notably lagged behind Snapchat when it comes to embracing AR effects for its various properties, including Instagram. The Facebook AR Studio was launched in closed beta at the company's annual F8 developers' conference, and since then, more than 2,000 developers have created content for the AR platform.